Trip Reports | Hawkesbury River

Culinary Kayaking Retreat

Berowra Waters and Marramarra Creek

28-30 January 2022


Our weekend-long culinary camping adventure started with a great local coffee from the Wise Monkey Café and an exciting free car ferry ride to Berowra Waters.


Launching the boats after packing them became a challenge, as they were seriously overloaded with food, unnecessary firewood and lots of booze. Boats had to be dragged down the boat ramp and excess firewood removed after a dramatic breakage—please contact Thalie if you know how to replace a handle plug on a Riot kayak. (Standard equipment such as a comfy chair and essential wooden picnic table were retained on top of kayaks.)

Berowra Creek sights include a gourmet restaurant, a half-sunken houseboat and party houses. Our picturesque lunch spot on Twin Beaches is a beautiful sandy beach—with knee-deep mud full of bait worms at low tide.

Surfing the incoming tide up Marramarra Creek, we were chased by mullets pretending to be bull sharks past shallow derelict oyster farms. Half way to the campsite we were caught by very low creek levels. Despite the bull shark threat we passed the time by eating melted scroggan and floated on our back for the tide to rise.

The last couple of kilometres we had to stop-start, becoming experts at dry exits and entries. Dragging boats, we took turns floating the other person over sand banks and enjoying the bush, solitude and appreciating every centimetre of water under the boat.

We arrived at Marramarra Creek camp site, and first things first—a beer in the creek to cool down. Then, while enchanted by the beauty of the bush, Steph’s foot had an argument with a fire ant. Thalie didn’t want to listen to any more whinging and left to seek the elusive orange orchard for hours, walking four kilometres, bringing back unripe oranges and saying we should have camped there.

Day one dinner:

  • Entrée: Frozen watermelon vodka slurpies with cheese and crackers
  • Main: Capsicum and haloumi fajitas
  • Dessert: Peach cobbler


Day two breakfast:

  • Pancakes with yoghurt, peaches, almonds and lots of tea

Packing was a lot easier on Day Two. With the high tide going out and a warm day, we had an easy paddle out with more floating in the creek to cool down. Making it to Twin Beaches early was a good idea to mark out our camp site and enjoy leftover fajitas for lunch.

With a strong wind we paddled across to Bar Island and explored the ruins of an old school and cemetery. The evening back on Twin Beaches started with beer in the Hawkesbury mud—famous for its healing properties.

Day two dinner:

  • Entrée: Nibbles, crackers, jerky and nuts
  • Main: Satay tofu and jackfruit green coconut curry with rice (pre-packed microwave meals steamed in the Trangia)
  • Drinks: Gin and tonic with finger limes
  • Dessert: Home made pavlova with fruit, yoghurt and brandy


After a quick breakfast and easy pack we were charmed by the owner of Sydney Oyster Tours, setting up the Oyster Elegance Gourmet Seafood Lunch at the water’s edge. Considered staying but could she really compete with the last two days?

Similarly, Berowra Waters Inn on the paddle home was just not ready for us—it wasn’t that we were a bit smelly and muddy—so we ended the trip back at the lovely Wise Monkey Café.

Culinary Kayaking Retreat 2022-01-28
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